Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I haven’t played Grand Theft Auto V since just a few months after its release, but parts of its city are still as clear in my memory as some of the real cities I’ve lived in.
I like the streets around Michael’s house, from which you can quickly reach downtown San Andreas or nip up into the hills towards where Franklin comes to live. I like the Santa Monica-style beachfront, where Michael’s therapist’s office is. I like the big park with the nice pond, and the long ocean road that leads to the tunnel, and a dozen other little mundane areas.
This is true of every 3D Grand Theft Auto game, for me. I don’t care about nor finish the story and I can barely stand the characters, but as places they’re first rate. Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t excite me nearly as much, either, because it’s cities I’m interested in. Horses are fine, but deserts and canyons are to be travelled across, not lived in.